Uruk visit and photos - Page 1

Warka (Uruk)
Visited 04.50-07.45, 6 June, 2006
Uruk is located about 15 km east of modern Samawa.

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Warka (Uruk)
Visited 04.50-07.45, 6 June, 2006
Uruk is located about 15 km east of modern Samawa.

W. K. Loftus excavated at Warka in 1850 and 1854. Major German excavations began in 1912 under J. Jordan and recommenced after World War I, in 1928, under the direction of Jordan, A. Nöldeke, E. Heinrich, and H. J. Lenzen. Work was halted in 1941 and resumed under Lenzen from 1954 to 1967 and under H. J. Schmidt until 1977. R. M. Boehmer directed excavations from 1980 to 1990 and M. van Ess in 2001 and 2002.

W. K. Loftus, Travels and Researches in Chaldaea and Susiana (London, 1857); J. E. Curtis, “Loftus’ Parthian cemetery at Warka”, Akten des VII. Internationalen Kongresses für Iranische Kunst und Archäologie : München, 7.-10. September 1976. (Berlin 1979), pp. 309-17; Excavation reports: UVB (Uruk vorläufiger Bericht), ADFU (Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka) and AUWE (Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka, Endberichte); R. M. Boehmer, “Uruk 1980-1990: A Progress Report”, Antiquity 65 (1991), pp. 465-78.

Uruk was occupied from the Late Ubaid period (c. 4000 BC) until the seventh century AD. Immense ceremonial/religious architecture and associated remains, including the world’s earliest writing, dating to c. 3500-3000 BC (the so-called Late Uruk period) have been excavated. Uruk remained a major city into the second millennium BC with repeated rebuildings of the temple precinct of Eanna. After a decline around 1700 BC the settlement regained something of its status in the later second and first millennia BC including major buildings constructed during the Seleucid and Parthian periods, such as the Bit Resh and Gareus temples. There is also an extensive Parthian cemetery.

The helicopter landed in square J XV, next to the track leading to the guard’s house. The inspection began at the guard’s house and moved to the Eanna ziggurat. The team proceeded through the Late Uruk “temples” (Temple C and the Pillar Hall) to the Stone Cone Mosaic Temple and, passing at the edge of Bit Resh, on to the Anu Ziggurat and the Stone Temple. The major problem at the site is erosion. The expedition house remains in a good condition although termites have attacked wooden shelving in a work room, and plastic bags holding sherds have disintegrated. The fence surrounding the site had been renewed with Japanese funding in 2006. There is no evidence of looting at the site which is protected by 15 SPF (Special Protection Force) personnel (one of whom arrived to check the presence of the inspection team) and an on-site guard (the German institutional system is able to maintain constant payments for the on-site guard).

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